Friday, August 15, 2014

Horror Pick: Of Monsters and Madness

Of Monsters and Madness
 by Jessica Verday
276 pages
ISBN: 9781606844632

Available September 9,  2014

What others are saying:

"Verday offers a haunting portrait of a lonely, intelligent girl, while serving up gore and abundant references to classic Gothic horror stories. A monstrous mashup . . . inventive and engaging."—Kirkus Reviews
"Verday’s novel is a quick read that hooks readers into the mysterious and gothic atmosphere of Annabel’s Philadelphia. The plot is thrilling . . . . Annabel is a strong character."—School Library Journal
"The result is thoroughly dark and ominous, with a secret romance adding delicious tension."—Booklist
"Lots of good characters and an in-depth plot will keep readers engaged. Pairing classic literature and modern paranormal fiction is very appealing. This novel will provide cross-over appeal to both older teens and adults."—VOYA

My Review:

Madness most magnificent! Jessica Verday takes a vulnerable innocent young lady  and ships her halfway around the world from her home in exotic Siam to the bustling city of Philadelphia--a place she's never been.  Annabel is surrounded by a family she has never known, a creepy house that is both ghostly and Gothic, a strange, demented father, a tall, dark and handsome lab assistant whose cousin is a cad and a thug, and a string of grisly murders that grips the city in terror.

Annabel's maid Maddy is her first friend and confidant. Strange goings-on in the middle of the night cause fright, and Annabel is concerned with her father's weird behavior and strange appearance. The cooks warn Annabel to stay away from her father's lab, but Annabel is curious and suspicious. Annabel has no fear of the dark; she continually seeks out danger in the dark of night. Armed with only a candle and her own strong resolve, she wanders the expanse of the mansion searching for answers.

The mysterious murders continue and this has everyone in Philadelphia on edge. Annabel and Allan share a few fleeting moments, and she realizes that she is deeply, hopelessly in love. The house continues to hide its secrets, until one fatal night when Annabel sees too much.  Discovering her father's secret will change everything. Or will it?

Of Monsters and Madness is The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde meets Frankenstein meets Gothic horror meets The Island of Dr. Moreau meets Edgar Allan Poe. Verday seamlessly blends the old with the new and teens will love it! Verday assures readers that there will be a sequel. She writes, "Don't worry! I won't leave you hanging."

Highly, highly recommended for any fan of Poe's works and for those who love a Gothic tale. I truly enjoyed this mash-up, and so will you. Great fun!

Grades 7 and up. Some steamy kisses, some gore. No profanity.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at


  1. Pamela - I really enjoyed it as well. Working Poe and a semi-Dr. Frankenstein character into the story together, then having the doctor create a serum with a Jekyll and Hyde result, that was some clever writing to work it all in.

  2. this will be great for all the kids who want "scary". I can't wait to read it myself.

  3. Sounds great!
    Maggie Knapp
    Fort Worth, TX

  4. Scary!
    Dana H.
    Lebanon, TN